least there is no problem with the history books
Tilvin Silva the man who waits till he wins, felt as if he won last
week. But he had this to say at the BMICH: "I have to make
special mention here about Rohana Wijeweera our late leader….''
He then went onto say so many things about reactionaries etc.,
this will be a subject for the new schoolbooks, but how are they
going to put it in? But as it was reported last week in these columns
schoolbooks in Sri Lanka can take in a lot of things. In one book,
a national hero dies a few years earlier than he does in a different
edition of the same book.
the important question is, how will they take this in? Tilvin Silva
says Wijeweera is a revered name to remember, and this he says at
the Bandaranaike Memorial Conference Hall when he is about to sign
on the dotted line with Mr Bandaranaike's old party. But Mrs Bandarnaike
put Wijeweera in jail - she did.
those students in Bandaranaike Vidyalaya who will consider Wijeweera
a jailbird who mocked at the Bandarnaike proletarian government,
will now feel that Wijweera is a national hero according to the
new political history of the SLFP. If all this is very confusing
to you, see how confusing it will be to the kids.
explain all of this to the children will be difficult, and we might
have to refer the subject to Tara de Mel herself, or then again
maybe to someone who Tara De Mel herself nominates. The kids will
be told yes first there was Mr Bandaranaike. Then there was Mrs
Bandaranaike. Then there was the Bandaranaike Hall. Then there was
Tilvin Silva. Then in 2004 he came to the Bandaranaike Hall. And
he said Wijeweera has to be remembered.
smart little kid then notices that there is a footnote about Wijeweera
being jailed by Mrs Bandaranaike's government, so he asks is it
all politically correct? The kid is told to turn to page 6 which
explains what a reactionary is.
the teacher goes on - it is true, Mrs Bandaranaike and Wijeweera
were not friends. But since the Bandaranaike Hall was built by the
Chinese, and Wijeweera and Mrs Bandaranaike’s both liked the
Chinese more than they liked the Americans, it figures that Mrs
Bandaranaike’s daughter makes the man who makes Wijeweera
a hero at the Bandarnaike Hall, a friend.
and girls are seen scratching their heads, but they are told friendships
are complicated. For instance, Mrs Bandaranaike never put another
national hero N. M. Perera (page 13 footnote, take out your magnifying
glass to read it) in jail but now his friends are not Mrs Bandaranaike's
daughter President Kumaratunga's friends at all. And they don't
even appear at the Bandaranaike Memorial Conference Hall unless
of course it is to commemorate Vijaya Kumaratunga.
is "Kumaratunga'' pipes up one kid, and a she is promptly shooed
out of class for not doing her homework. The others turn to page
18. Vijaya Kumaratunga they learn, is Mrs Bandaranaike's son-in-law
who they learn has been killed by the reactionaries.
student says that his father told him that Vijaya was in fact killed
by those who take after Tilvin Silva. At which point, they are told
to take extra Buddhism lessons. Because the Buddha said nothing
is permanent, and that your name will not be mentioned at your mother-in-law's
Hall, even if those who killed you will be commemorated inside that
Hall sometime later. At this point they are reminded that most of
their fathers do not like their mothers-in-law anyway, so it all
figures in the end….